Japanese consumer electronics company Panasonic has launched the Eluga Z smartphone in India on Tuesday for an MSRP of Rs. 13,490 ($220). The smartphone comes with a metallic frame, and features a 5-inch HD (1280 x 720) AMOLED display. The phone is powered by an SoC of unspecified make, but the company says, the CPU is a ‘true octa-core’ unit, clocked at 1.4 GHz. The phone comes with 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage, with support for microSD card of up to 32 GB in size. The device runs on Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box, and carries a 2,050 mAh battery. The primary camera on the rear of the device comes with a 13 megapixel sensor, and is capable of recoding 1080p videos at 30fps. The secondary camera on the front meanwhile, comes with a smaller 5 megapixel sensor. The phone measures 141.3 mm x 70.6 mm, and has a thickness of 6.85 mm according to the company. The device is also said to weigh about 120 grams. As for connectivity options, the device comes with 3G HSPA+, and has support for Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and USB OTG. The phone will be offered in three colors – Champagne Gold, Ivory White and Midnight Blue.
At the price Panasonic is asking, the Eluga Z will have to compete with devices like the Asus ZenFone 2, Xiaomi Mi 4i, Lenovo K3 Note, Motorola Moto G 2014 and even the OnePlus One, all of which fall under the same general price bracket, and come with significantly enhanced hardware specifications, including LTE. The only advantage the Eluga Z will have – and it’s a big one in India – is that it will be available at brick and mortar stores, which is more than what could be said about products from Xiaomi, Asus, Lenovo, Motorola and OnePlus. The lack of LTE connectivity in the Eluga Z may be a tad surprising to some, as just about all devices launched these days at anywhere near that price come with LTE connectivity.
While Panasonic has exited the smartphone business from most markets, it continues to sell re-branded phones in India. The company has multiple products in each segment of the market in the country, but has failed to make a big enough dent so far, in a market dominated by Samsung and Apple at the high-end and Lenovo, Xiaomi and Asus in the mid-range. Local manufacturers like Micromax, Karbonn, Lava etc. clean up at the low-end of the spectrum, but that is increasingly being challenged by a number of Chinese manufacturers by introducing high-specced, low-priced products.